Recently I fell into a lively gathering of grown up “boys and girls” who were laughing, trading stories, and being playfully rowdy. They were hardy, cheerful, and full of life. Some were factory workers, others were business professionals, and still others were long retired. While a few were as young as twenty something, others were well into their senior years. A few were wearing business casual, one was in a suit, and many were in jeans and t-shirts. An odd bunch, you would be a bit surprised to see them all together at your local restaurant. Yet, if you asked them how they knew one another, all 30 plus would respond, “We’re brothers and sisters.”
The event was Alumni Day at Boys and Girls Homes of NC. Residents from long ago and more from recent days all gathered for a fall day of fun and fellowship. Our President and CEO Rick Creech fired up the grill to provide a feast for our adult children. Chief Missions Officer Ray Cockrell also led a rowdy chant to fire up the crowd. There were games and prizes. It was a good day.
As I walked away I reflected on the legacy of love and care that BGHNC continues to provide. Childcare has changed over the years, as has the nature of the children we serve. Yet, moments like Alumni Day bring everything back into the focus of our ongoing story. What a rich and wonderful history of healing and hope. Every person present shared a similar sentiment, “I would be lost or dead if it wasn’t for this place.” It is a legacy that I am proud to be a part of, and one that motivates excellences within our current staff.
As a donor and supporter of the families and children we serve, you are also a part of this rich and storied legacy of raising children up and giving them a future and a hope. You are a producer of laughter and light for those who before only knew sorrow and darkness. Bless you!
Dr. Mason Fuller Smith is the Director of Community Engagement for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.